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Analysis

The Bulletin

OMFIF’s monthly publication, The Bulletin, features in-depth news and commentary on key developments in the financial industry and global capital markets. This is provided by members of the OMFIF advisory board and well-known contributors from across the globe, including:

  • Stanley Fischer, Vice-Chairman, Board of Governors, US Federal Reserve
  • Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President, European Central Bank
  • Jens Weidmann, President, Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Paul Volcker, former Chairman, Board of Governors, US Federal Reserve
  • Jin Liqun, President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • Otaviano Canuto, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund
  • William White, Chairman, Economic and Development Review Panel, OECD

July Bulletin Cover (294)

July-August 2016 edition

The ripples of the UK’s 23 June vote to leave the European Union are spreading internationally. Sterling, the third most important reserve currency, has fallen by more than 10% against the dollar, interest rate rises everywhere have been put on hold, and one more source of risk is stalking the global economy. Disarray in Britain’s political ranks throws up a 21st century version of The Comedy of Errors.

One important side effect: Theresa May, the quietly confident UK home secretary, is favourite to take over in September from departing Prime Minister David Cameron – joining Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen in a march of female economic power.

The July-August edition of the Bulletin analyses the ramifications of the EU’ biggest setback since it was set up in 1958 as the six-member European Economic Community. Niels Thygesen in Copenhagen, Philippe Lagayette in Paris, Stuart Mackintosh in Washington and Jacques Lafitte in Brussels provide views from Europe and the US. Peter Warburton and Federico Corrado investigate the post-referendum challenge for Swiss monetary policy. Ben Robinson describes how emerging market central banks, in particular the People’s Bank of China, are reacting to European upheavals.

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Bulletin June Cover 294 (1)

June 2016 edition

Each of the world’s major trading and transaction currencies – the dollar, euro, sterling, yen and now the renminbi – is beset by policy uncertainty and doubt. Volatile currency cargoes are heading towards cloudy horizons on storm-tossed seas.

Central banks, despite the undoubted costs of maintaining high reserves, believe it is even more costly and unpleasant not to have adequate stocks when times are tough. Demand for, and competition between, reserve currencies will persist.

These themes are covered in the June Bulletin by Gary Smith and John Nugée, and were high on the agenda at a seminar on a looming system of multiple reserve currencies organised by the International Monetary Fund and the Swiss National Bank in Zurich on 10 May. This month’s edition reproduces some of the introductory thoughts on the challenge to dollar ‘dominance’ spelled out to the meeting by Claudio Borio of the Bank for International Settlements.

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May 2016 Bulletin Cover 294 (2)

May 2016 edition

The May Bulletin analyses the key issues confronting the US electorate ahead of November's presidential election. Marsha Vande Berg focuses on wage stagnation and the nation’s desire to resuscitate the American dream. Efraim Chalamish examines Chinese investment in the US, a principal source of fear about outside interference. Darrell Delamaide investigates how the Federal Reserve is signalling allayed concerns about global economic and financial hazards, possibly foreshadowing a rate rise later this summer. Ben Robinson looks at the rising dollar and the effect on emerging market currencies.

Click here to read the press release. To subscribe, please contact membership@omfif.org

OMFIF Bulletin April 2016 (cover) (3)

April 2016 edition

OMFIF’s annual index of the role of women in central banking, published in the April Bulletin, shows only a slight improvement, and even some slippage, compared with the findings of our last survey a year ago. The index moved up slightly to 2.19 (out of a maximum of 10) at the end of 2015, from 2.07 the year before. With Wendy Craigg of the Central Bank of the Bahamas and Zeti Akhtar Aziz of Bank Negara Malaysia stepping down this year, 2016 may turn out to be a year of setbacks for female prominence in central banking. The April edition puts negative interest rates and the gradual emergence of a multicurrency reserve system under the spotlight, with articles by José Manuel González-Páramo, Barnabás Virág, Ben Robinson and Ezechiel Copic.

Click here to read the press release. To subscribe, please contact membership@omfif.org

March -2016-01-web

March 2016 edition

The March edition of the Bulletin puts Japanese monetary policies and the economic stance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe under the spotlight. Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, breached a taboo in January by cutting interest rates into negative territory, introducing a set of exemptions to protect banking profits. This is part of a macroeconomic remodelling – dubbed ‘Abenomics 2.0’, underlining that the first version, including massive purchases of government bonds, has not worked as planned. Our coverage includes articles by Shumpei Takemori, Akinari Horii, Sahoko Kaji, Chris Scicluna and Grant Lewis, and John West.

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February 2016 Cover

February 2016 edition

The February 2016 Bulletin focuses on China and the effects of a series of challenging transitions. The world’s second-largest economy is moving towards a more market-driven approach and opening its capital markets at a time of uncertainty over renminbi policy. This coincides with the Communist party’s struggle to maintain its hold over an increasingly wealthy, internationally mobile and politically astute population. These trends are dissected by Jonathan Fenby, Ben Robinson, John Adams, Ben Shenglin, Marcello Minenna, Edoardo Reviglio and Willem Middelkoop.

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Jan 2016 cover (1)

January 2016 Edition

OMFIF has declared 2016 the ‘Year of the Multicurrency System’, with diverse currencies competing for status and clout in a crowded and chaotic monetary world. As different monetary authorities set out on diverse policy courses, the January Bulletin describes the tensions besetting the currencies that from 1 October will make up the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing right – the dollar, euro, sterling, yen and renminbi. We focus on the trials facing the European single currency.

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December Bulletin Cover (no Banner)

December 2015 Edition

In the December Bulletin, OMFIF explores the rise of populist parties and the return of strong leaders across Europe and neighbouring regions as a result of international political and security challenges. Our writers are sceptical whether this phenomenon will provide ‘strongman returns’ for investors. Across many countries the desire for physical security may trump concerns over freedom and liberty, with important consequences.

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Cover Of The Bulletin Nov 2015

November 2015 Edition

OMFIF writers examine the delicate geopolitical and financial relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia over Riyadh’s attempts to keep oil prices low and squeeze out high-cost producers. Saudi Arabia is running down its foreign exchange reserves and increasing borrowing to maintain spending on domestic infrastructure projects, but the International Monetary Fund has warned that it may be depleting its savings too fast. As the November editorial says, ‘In seeking stability elsewhere, Riyadh may be opening itself up to destabilisation.’

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The OMFIF Bulletin is available to OMFIF members, and to non-members on a subscription basis. To subscribe, please contact membership@omfif.org